Here’s something that would be good for Microsoft to update:
I’d like to put a Live Maps link on the SBTUG home page so that people can get directions to the meetings (they are held at Microsoft Sydney Office at 1 Epping Road North Ryde). Unfortunately Live Maps makes this difficult. Here’s what gets returned from a search of the address. The Red box is what Live Maps thinks the location is, but I’ve added a green arrow indicating what the correct location should be.
And if I ‘enhance’ this search with a business name, here’s what I get. Live Maps gives the impression it doesn’t even know that Microsoft is located at 1 Epping Road.
But it gets worse, because the results instead include all the collection results contributed by other people. Of the 10 contributed results 8 are incorrect, so much so that the first result flags it as the New Zealand office (for my overseas readers, please note that New Zealand is an entirely different country!). The tenth result is the most correct.
Here, on the other hand is the Google result (it’s spot on):
It’s the little things that make the difference, and this is one reason why Google Maps still has the upper hand in my opinion.
More importantly though it highlights the problems with contributions from the ‘crowd’. With no mechanism for voting up or down the results and thus improving the value of Live Maps, users of Live Maps are liable to be mislead and become disillusioned with the service.
(Note: I used the Feedback link in the bottom right of Live Maps to let Microsoft know – and in order to indicate the correct location I referred them to the Google Maps result.)
(UPDATE: Fixed the URL on this post – apologies if you had trouble getting here via an external link)